An Apple a Day…

Sadly, the world lost a visionary and creative genius in Steve Jobs, who passed away last month at the age of 56. If you are like me, you have enjoyed and made much use of the gadgets, products, films and services that he helped bring to us through Apple and Pixar, two companies that he co-created. I’m a proud owner of a Macbook and 3 iPods. I use iTunes on a daily basis.

Like many large organizations, Winnipeg Public Library is run on Windows based PCs, so most of my Mac experience has been at home on my own time. This is changing somewhat with the library’s introduction of Overdrive. With Overdrive, you can download ebooks to a number of devices, including Macintosh computers, iPads, iPod Touches and iPhones. Using the music database Freegal, you can download up to three mp3 music files per library card per week, and they are yours to keep. These mp3 files can be easily imported into iTunes and transferred to an iPod. I recently downloaded some Paul Simon and Thompson Twins this way. It worked great!

If you want to learn a little more about Steve Jobs and the companies he created, WPL has some great resources for you.

Steve Jobs (2011)

In the past two years of his life, Steve Jobs conducted more than 40 interviews with Walter Isaacson, a former executive with CNN and Time who also wrote biographies on Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin. The results of these interviews is “Steve Jobs“, the authorized biography. Published only a few weeks after his death, Mr. Jobs provided unprecedented access to himself that those that lived and worked closely with him, encouraging everyone to be open and honest. Aside from approving the photo on the dust jacket, Jobs did not exert any control over content and did not even wish to read the book before it was published.

In addition to the authorized biography, there are a number of unauthorized ones out there, namely:

iCon: Steve Jobs, the Greatest Second Act in the History of Business” by Jeffrey Young (2005)

The Steve Jobs Way: iLeadership for a New Generation” by Jay Elliot and William L. Simon (2011).

The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success” by Carmine Gallo (2011).

Guy Kawasaki was hired at Apple in 1983 and left the company in 1989, roughly around the time Steve Jobs was ousted the first time. He is still active as a blogger, you can follow him on Twitter (@guykawasaki) and he is the founder of Alltop, an online magazine rack. His book, “The Macintosh Way” is a fascinating look at the philosophy behind Apple’s corporate structure and marketing strategies and how even in the 1980’s they were “thinking differently”.

The Macintosh Way (1990)

Kawasaki was the “chief evangelist” for Apple during his tenure, and continued to advocate for Apple when he returned to the company in 1995 as an Apple fellow. The term “Apple Evangelist” was coined by the Macintosh division of Apple in the 1980’s and Kawasaki was one of the first to use “evangelical” methods to promote a brand through a blog.

The concept of technology evangelists is explored more fully in “The Cult of Mac“, a glossy coffee table style book by Leander Kahney.

The Maquarium in Action!

Many Mac users have shown an arguably questionable devotion to the products, services and concepts created by the company. From Apple tattoos to adopting Apple design aesthetics into other parts of their lives, this book explores what it means to have “drunk the koolaid”, so to speak. One example of the latter is taking an old Mac Classic, gutting it, and turning it into a real aquarium. It was affectionately dubbed “The Maquarium”.

-Trevor

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